WA- Victims blast archbishop over funeral
Admitted serial predator priest gets “full honors”
SNAP: “Move re-victimizes the wounded & deters other victims”
Group also discloses names of 18 predator priests in archdiocese
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will:
--blast Seattle Catholic officials for burying an admitted serial predator priest with full honors,
--urge each of the 20 clerics involved to publicly apologize,
--prod Seattle's archbishop to work to reform the church's national abuse policy to prevent such “callous and hurtful” funerals in the future with other child molesting clerics.
The group will also disclose the names of 18 predator priests who have received little or no public attention in the Seattle area and urge church staff to “aggressively reach out to anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered their crimes.”
Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 2:00 p.m.
Outside St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 732 18th Ave. East in the Capitol Hill section of Seattle
Three or four adults who were abused as kids by clergy and belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (including a Seattle woman who once supervised the admitted predator and a Missouri man who is SNAP's long time executive director)
1) An ex-Seattle archdiocesan priest who admitted molesting youngsters was buried last month with full priestly honors in a highly visible funeral led by 30 local clerics. He is David Peter Jaeger, who was defrocked because of allegations that he molested 8-10 children in the 1970s.
SNAP does not oppose church funerals for predator priests. But the group feels these should be low-key events; otherwise, they “rub salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of thousands who have been raped and sodomized by Catholic priests and re-victimized by callous and deceitful Catholic officials.” Such ceremonies also discourage and deter other victims from “speaking up, exposing predators and protecting kids,” SNAP says.
According to Jaegar's website (www.davidpjaeger.com), Fr. John McGrann performed the funeral mass at St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Capitol Hill. About 20 priests concelebrated, eight nuns were Eucharistic ministers and hundreds of mourners attended.
One priest has already apologized for the ceremony. On Aug. 2, in a two page, single-spaced letter to his flock at St. Joseph's, pastor Fr. John D. Whitney said “I apologize for the confusion and hurt” caused by letting the funeral take place at his church in the way that it did.
Among the priests involved was Fr. Michael Ryan of St. James Cathedral parish (206 622 3559, firstname.lastname@example.org.) Music was performed by the Seattle University Choir, directed by William McNamara.
Despite his having been defrocked, a photo of Jaeger in clerical garb was on the Seattle Times obituary, the funeral program, and on posters on the walls of the St. Joseph vestibule.
SNAP wants Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain (206-382-4560) – and each priest or nun who participated – to publicly apologize to abuse victims. The group also wants Sartain to push to reform the church's national abuse policy to forbid burying predator priests with full honors. (There have been similar controversies recently about criminal priests' burials with Fr. Gerald Robinson in Toledo, OH and Fr. Joseph Kelleher in Charlotte, NC.)
Jaeger's funeral was 7/30, he died on 7/22, was defrocked in 2005, was ordained in 1969 and was born in 1943. Jaeger worked for a church agency, the St. Vincent DePaul Society, until 2012, He is survived by his partner of 22 years, Steve Knipp.
2) SNAP is also disclosing the names of 18 proven, admitted or publicly accused child molesting Jesuit clerics who spent time in the Seattle Archdiocese but have received little or no public attention in the Seattle area. They are: Fr. Roy Alan Drake (1964-65) Fr. Francis W. "Frank" Callan (1960-62), Fr. Robert F. Corrigal (1960-62), Fr. James E. Jacobson (1960-61), Fr. Bernard Francis "Barney" McMeel (1957-58), Fr. James E. Poole (1955-56), Fr. Francis "Frank" J. Fallert (1953-54), Fr. James W. Plamondon (1952-53), Fr. John J. "Jack" Wood (1951-52), Fr. Henry G. Hargreaves (1948-49), Fr. John R. Thatcher (1948-49), Fr. Bernard A. Harris (1947-48), Br. Ignatius J. Jakes (1947-48), Fr. Francis E. "Frank" Duffy (1945-46), Fr. Jules M. Convert (1941-43), Fr. Harold J. Greif (1941-42) Fr. Englebert Axer (1940-41), and Fr. Joseph A. Balfe (1928-31).
Most of these clerics molested in Alaska, Oregon and Washington. Most are named in a list of alleged abusers published by the Jesuits' Oregon province as part of a 2011 bankruptcy settlement.
According to assignment histories compiled by BishopAccountability.org (from copies of the Official Catholic Directory) and posted in recent months, each cleric spent at least one year at Manresa Hall in Port Townsend, a facility used by Jesuits for training from 1927-1968. (It had also been used as a vacation spot for nuns.) http://www.manresacastle.com/about.html
SNAP believes that many of these clerics also spent time at Seattle archdiocesan parishes, filling in for vacationing priests or during busy holy days.
“It takes only seconds for a predator to shove his tongue in a girl's mouth or his hand down a boy's pants,” said David Clohessy of SNAP. “So it's very likely that one or more of these clerics assaulted a child who is now a struggling adult in Sartain's archdiocese. That's why we believe Sartain should use his parish bulletins, church websites and archdiocesan resources to spread the word about these sex offender clergy – even the ones who are now deceased – and aggressively reach out to those who they molested.”
Roughly 30 bishops have posted the names of child molesting clerics on their website. Here is the list of some of them.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.